tv Rich Lowry The Case for Nationalism CSPAN November 30, 2019 10:45am-12:01pm EST
have to put some muscle into enforcing the contract. in the constitution is the same way. >> to watch the rest of this program, visit our website, booktv.org. search the author news name using the fox at the top of the page. >> alright, we'll we'll get started. good evening everybody. i am director of social cultural and constitutional studies here at ai, and it is my great pleasure to welcome our friend rich lowry to discuss his important book, the casework nationalism. rich is the editor of national review as flagship magazine of american conservatism for your decades and is edited since 1997, which is also syndicated columnist and author at very much recommend to you his previous book, the study of abraham lincoln social and economic thought from lincoln and found in this new enforce
speaks to a very live and significant controversy politics the subject has been in areas, subject of an enormous amount of thought and argument in the last few years and the question nationalism of the nation in place in our politics and its connection to some of the forces and threats as been drawing the politics of the west. in recent years. and we'll hear from rich a little bit about the book and he and i will then discuss it for your a few minutes and then we will open it up to questions from you. who please let's welcome rich lowry. [applause]. rich: thank you. it is a pleasure to be here. thank who much for your making the time. i will share with you what has been my favorite moment from my book to works of art. i say he came in on the second
day. as an npr interview. and we are his practice, i like to say of this professor in. who they do, as they hope you as a conservative. if you on history or policy and then they'll have a professor on like in the middle of your presentation or right at the end, and the brawl of the professor is to see basically that you are in a grammar us. but they will see it in gentle tones. an npr listener get distinctively believes anything that is said in that town by a person with some authority at that has some credentials who therefore you are official deemed an ignoramus and a lot and go home happy. this is sort of like the impure equivalent of what happens in the jerry springer show and the baby mama comes on and they confront the fathers. but everybody has been waiting for your right. who i have this extensive interview and preparation and much less than two days. in preparation for your this npr program.
i really appreciate appreciate how much of the take with it. everything was set to go for your it in the morning, they're desperately trying to get in touch with me. what is it we want. they see, rich, we want to know is that okay if we have a professor on with you. and i said, yes, i know what you doing but it's fine. it's fine have a professor on. who i am going with the interview for your a while and they are basically the can't believe what i am staying and the basic propositions of nationalism are basic really the most people we do scratch the surface our nationals in some forum or another. and are you really staying that her nationalism has brought necessarily synonymous with hatred and bigotry. i'm staying more than that, i'm synced in ashland nationalism really give us modern democracy. and they see okay let's go for your it to break in the middlebury and professor. then they bring in the professor. his sophisticated way, of
talking and foreign accent she is originally from russia and that some preliminarily, she says that everyone in a modern world, is the nationalist and in fact, nationalism created modern democracy. you can see the house, she can't believe it. she's taken back. she says wait a minute are you agreeing with rich lowry. and it turned out in this case, npr had not done sufficient research because the professor is the woman named lee greenfeld, is an extraordinary scholar nationalism. it turned out i had read her most important book, prior to writing work on my own is called nationalism bypass to modernity. i had interrupted see, actually, she is i'm agreeing with her. [laughter] was crucial in my thinking on this topic. who lisa's ones, npr and professor to itself. and is very gratifying to me.
at least in the small minded way. who let me give you five propositions about nationalism. and i'll sit down and we will talk and take any questions. first proposition, nationalism is very old. it is very natural it is very powerful. empires throughout the ages have tried to eliminate it unsuccessfully. dave tried to have their own eyed ideologies and get rid of it unsuccessfully. to give you an example how old and deep it nationalism feeling is, you can go to one of history news great monsters. john and more. and in 1425, she has a vision, and her father's garden from an angel that she is going to liberate france from english. in the english kings at the time had a fixation with really not just england but france. in the english wine originally comes from france of course and there problems in france
normandy, and the english had been attending with an english air on throne of france. and they are participates the hundred year war. it is fought in france and is the debacle. by some estimates of population declined by half for the fridge. it is ravaged by famine and combat and when joan is born, this been going on for your about 75 years. and said the aspect of the civil war. in france in addition to the english occupations. because of the willpower that is difficult to fathom, she somehow convinces the french authorities that she should be able to pursue this vision. this mission that she has. and she ends up in camp with french troops outside of the city of orleans, and she sends messages to the english troops and she says, i am a warrior,
i'm giving you fair warning that i am going to chase you will what all from france and if you don't leave, i'm going to kill you all. just to let you know. and then she sensed more messages and pharmacies in the last one that she she's over in a in a row, and, look i am serious, this is my last morning. in the english troops obviously must've this hard-bitten guys who took this about the seriousness that you would expect. they completely scored her and her messages and shout across, insults at her and mourners from the french war. and she takes us to wait an average teenage girl would turn she's insulted and cries tears of outrage and shame. and then she does when a teenage girl in world history has ever done before or since. she leaves the french troops into battle riding a white horse carrying a white banner with the
image of christ sitting in judgment and chases the english from orleans. and it amazingly enough, she sees. in the french mayor to the throne, and our luck runs out at some.and she is betrayed by french forces with the language and they undertake a trial of her as you might expect, has brought very fair-minded. it is all based on finding her guilty. they it's been an enormous amount of time and the fact that she wore men's clothing. i say the whole dressing would've not gone very well in 15th century england. judging by this but they find her guilty ride they brought her at the stake. she declares name of christ as she's going through this ordeal. and they spread rashes in the river. and she was 19 years old. the point of this is the kenny no more joan of arc. no more memory of this bizarre incident. in effect as we all know, the
opposite. when the truth because joan, had become a symbol of her nation. and of its independence and as such, would not be wiped out throughout all of the french history. the french king, goes to trial in 1920 she was of saint with the french are occupied by a much more tedious and evil occupier, centuries later the germans what is the free french army taken the symbol, the symbol of joan part of the cross of mine, they painted on their shifts and on their airplanes and with charles himself, at the symbol of the french nation dies, his village. a 16-foot because of lorien the entrance of the village in memory of him and in honor of joan. that's nationalism. in the nationalism feeling in a nutshell. second, nationalism as part of the mainstream of the american
tradition. you get no american revolution that went out nationalism. there was american nation prior to 1776, and the essence of the revolution, was to see that that nation and its own rights and flames and to govern itself. you wouldn't get the radical drafting and the ratification for the constitution that went out the nationalism of hamilton and washington and like-minded founders. i believe we cannot just be a series of separate baseless, vulnerable to foreign powers around us. and being picked apart and vulnerable to authorities in disgrace grid know we need it a strong and capable national government, and of course you don't get victory in the civil war that went out nationalism. as the main if it underlining the legitimacy of the american state. who this tradition runs throughout the hamilton, and
strong capable national government, strong military, strong navy and our country should become a great nation and of a great power on the model of great britain and the tradition runs through lincoln and runs through tr and you can see, nationalistic symbolism and sentiments running through the 20th century through fdr and fdr, has a blue eagle of course, to solve the nra program and he is democratic nationalists arrayed against hitler. that was in world war ii at 95 anyone in any part of the spectrum to read and the inaugural address. it's hard to keep track. read the third one. and not be moved by his sentiments about his nation. or not be moved by his dj prayer which donald trump read on the anniversary of normandy to several months ago the begins our son cried in the nation are
now set out on a mighty endeavor. and that both fdr and reagan, had access to the nationalistic sentiments and feelings and simple. and it just goes to help fairly classic phenomenon. both parties in different ideologies have access to it. and i'll also obviously be abused by now factors of sweeps seen throughout history. third proposition. america has brought just an idea. one of my basic axioms in washington, if there is something that both sides automatically and thoughtlessly see, the way joe biden, he says that america is an idea, it is probably wrong really should be skeptical of it. america is not just an idea. no one lives in an obstruction. if you ask anyone, where are you
from, no one in the right mind says i'm like yes, i'm from the second trees, book three chapter four. those just not how it happens. more sensible version of this notion is that america is just about >> nationalism. it's all about the quality and citizenship it. this clearly big part number nation but it doesn't represent all of it. and the problem i have with all of this is that they slide the fact that nations are thicker than just ideas and ideals and they are built on cultures. who the way to illustrate this.is that we take an example of a tour of a hypothetical. if you imagine tonight, and african-american media white american on the steps of the paris opera house, instantly, these two people it is matter whether they have different ideologies it doesn't matter if it parts of the country, they
instantly have more in common than anyone around them. they share a language who they can instantly communicate. there probably dress largely the same they're probably alike largely the same food in the same founders in the same euros. and an enormous stock of common cultural assumptions and references. and that will extent, the tourism metaphors. tonight if an americans at the fair guardian unit, the germans around them see, synagogue, i say he believes in the declaration of the independence he must be. he is loud and boisterous and his family, he might be fat. he is an american. who these are cultural markers that set us apart from the other people and account for the fact that we have more communication and easier communication attachment to one another and to other people around the world. third proposition sorry for the
proposition related to the third is just underlying the importance of culture and how important it was at the very beginning of the settlement of north america. with the came to massachusetts bay colony news, they brought with them the charter they had gotten from the king of england. to govern themselves. and the exploited a loophole and it really should've stayed in england but there's a loophole that allowed them to bring it to our shores which they wanted to do because they wanted the assurance of having a document setting out their government and their own possession. there very quickly worship their own way and establish their own modes of government not for the liking of the king. not for the liking of the people around the king and the began to do this. we do go back and take the charter. bay colony had to consider, what
are they going to do if the king is going to come and get started. and to make the decision, we will resist him by of course. they arm the harbor, they put a beacon on high point, in boston to let people know the royal ships are approaching and the elves and known as beacon hill. and they drill their militia. assuming this is just who incredible that hundred and 40 years before, a revolt against english royal authority led by independent-minded and stubborn people based in boston, massachusetts. it was nearly a revolt against royal authority centered in boston massachusetts led by independent and stubborn minded people. to me this just shows you how deep the cultural growth in this country runs. you can also talk about the bible. that is been who important to our history and to our culture.
initially, it was the geneva bible and dominated when they came over and sometimes referred to as the breaches bible because of the strikingly modest way it tells the story of adam any and they descended realized they were naked and they sewed together big fig leaves and made themselves breaches. but very quickly as the king james bible that came to dominate. and obviously it resonates throughout our history and it has been a great fund of rhetoric down through the centuries. you often hear martin luther king quoted from a preposition of declaration of independence is the promissory note is to be cash, he did see that for your very powerful sentiment. the main element of martin luther king spread argument what made it who powerful it was jeremiah and matthew and it is from the bible that we get the key aspects of the national
identity. one that is that we are chosen people. lincoln said more appropriately and modestly, almost chosen people he get the idea that we are leaving in a promised land. and you get the idea of covenant. and actually goes back to the old testament first governor in our history, is the mayflower compact and then the settlers home and pretty much every time they found a new town, every time they start a new church, that there is a covenant. there is a written document setting out the rules and everyone's mutual obligations the most important covenant, in our country is what is the key anchor of sovereignty which is the u.s. constitution. gives us a strong capable national government and limited national government and it goes back to this notion of a covenant. finally, i will just set up very briefly in capsule forum. what i say is the lowest common denominator of the conservative is agenda is based on
nationalism is really focusing on our culture and preserving our cultural core. in this one defending zealously, the english language is the dominant language in this country. if there is anything we know about cultural cohesion and national cohesion, it is that if you get multiple languages, you are going to get a problem. and even nice pleasant canada, was a couple decades ago, almost torn apart by the fact that québec and the french-speaking providence, plopped in the middle of an english speaking country. you see the contention now is vain, or the scotus of catalonia which is based upon primarily on the fact that cameroonians speak their own language and they have their own culture around their own language. we have to defend our founders and our heroes who are on an
ongoing assault and when the shaklee, if they are not a jefferson memorial 20 years from now, and charlottesville, we had the hideous marked by the neo-nazis neo-nazis who there's no church here in alexandria virginia, where robert e. lee and george washington worshiped at some. who the robert ely and george washington, the put down the block of robert e. lee because they considered it is it too submissive. i can see that, i say that is reasonable enough. they also took down the plaque of george washington which is completely insane but sort of represents the drift of the argument on our founders international heroes and went to defend her civil international civil symbols. putting the flag and one reason i am who irritated when people use the flag as a means of protest, disrespecting it for the them, this celebrates it is because men died for your that
flag not a symbolic sense but in a literal sense. the history of the civil war, they carried the flag into battle unarmed as a rallying.for the conference and took this incredibly seriously. multiple men died exiting the flag to the battle of gettysburg, lincoln gave the gettysburg address and the battle of fredericksburg, one sergeant was wounded and handed the flag over to the sergeant who was wounded, who took it to another officer who they could wrap around himself as he died. that was when he was profusely wounded. who the symbols are very deep. they are part of our culture. our cultural inheritance. and finally be teacher history, we are to be truthful about our history, yes we have national sense but that is not all that this country is about. we should not be teaching our history as a tale of unrelieved oppression and well.
but the glorious story of the free people who leaving in a blessed land. i will just leave you with one last quote. and then i will conclude in is the quote i really say captures just how deep these culturally taxes are and how we all even if we don't realize it, in florida look away from it, we all feel this about her country and is given by a scholar named john thorton. it went on to be the president of harvard. and he said in the 1798 speech, we learn to love her country because it is our country. because we are near it and in it and have an opportunity of being useful to it. we breathe there and share his values because the sweat of the father's brows, due to the soil in their we'll have and water feels and the referent test sleeps and it was him. and embraces our fathers or mothers or wives and her children, our brothers and
sisters. because here are our altars and patriotism is the combined energy of the social section and he who can tear this apart, and upon his nature. thank you very much. [applause] >> thanks very much rich i appreciate that. host: and appreciate this book which taps into a bright live controversy around this question on nationalism in our politics now. and try to a little bit. the book is structured in roughly the shape he laid out for your us here. try to lay out the idea of nationalism. if they threw in in american history in a contemporary american life and challenges the faces now. i would like to first as an opening question, why you say nationalism is such a controversial issue now. why is it understood to be who connected to the essence of this
political moment. what it has to do with president trump or trump is on. with her that is why it is written of white that has been what is that we are talking about nationalism who much at this. >> yes donald trump mainly. rich: the way i say about this, one, the book wasn't occasioned by trump. i hadn't really thought much about nationalism much. the lazy assumption option that it is a dirty word. and i was told that trump inaugural address is got me thinking about it a little more. but deeply, i say what has or haven't that the democrats, off of they have a national tradition and they're not who distant past turned back on and has gone towards a cosmopolitan progressivism. in the republican party also, lost touch with nationalism. i say on the influence of and the values and the market in the borders, on the influence of a business elite, a little more transnational orientation and
the national late social scientist talks about how in the 19th century how business innovation and technological changes that created a national affiliation and a national attitude over and above local attachments and local affiliations in the late 20s and 21st century, that those same kind of technological innovations and business changes have created more of a transnational attitude. and then finally, george bush is overly ideas ballistic emphasis on this foreign policy. i say all of that met party lost touch. with nationalism to some extent they had this kind of baton the floor. and truck picks it up, and impulsively and is sick doubly nationally whatever it is, who that accounts for your a lot of it. but it goes deeper than trump because brexit was a major if it. that happened before the election of donald trump. it goes to this question, that
use staying that the nationalism of the nationstate, that cause the agony of you're up in the 20th century. and those forces have to be faced in some assumed, into a new material project that has the dream of the united year, goes back to rome, and napoleon and hitler and obviously much more demonic benign and version of it than those. britain, in the face of the question show significant sovereignty. the renowned vessels. or run out of weapons, answered west minister. that's a nationalistic answered and it just goes to how is the broader phenomenon that just trump even though trump is obviously broadened it. >> news. host: trump is driving that debate, do they somehow have to bear the burden of tropism.
you have to answered for your some of the things about tropism that are what you want to suggest in the book are not nationalism. our should be associated with nationalism. rich: yes deftly. who i say with trump, if you get trump on a teleprompter and you listen to some of the things he says, some of the things he said that you and in poland and or soft speech, i say they are unavailable there are deeply true. in the speech was the best beat speech of his presidency in the we'll have. it advances the idea that it is kind of the worst place you can you're up and has been sincerely overrun by foreign occupying armies. partitioned and over the years, have suggested to the unspeakable horrors during the 20th century. poland has never gone away because of what the essence, they are who polish. that is the essence of poland. it's the one common rain that might be between trump and her
who, because they row at a time when pulitzer prize, is occupied by russia, stick to your traditions and mores, stick to your culture and help never be able to absorb you. and that is been completely true. i say that has been deeply moving true. the problem obviously with trump news once he gets off of this teleprompter, and in the wild, it is nothing like this. in the unifying potential nationalism is something above that, and is above partisanship. an essay that trump slightly unifying potential of nationalism isn't an understatement, you can come up with many examples just two months ago whenever it was when he was briefly at war with the city of baltimore, he tweeted no human being would want to live in west baltimore. while the fact is that they do live there and they're not just americans. donald trump is the head of a state of the diocese of america. just is it too often, but does
not seem to make any impression on him. but i say in that, and share political terms, more nationalistic and populist republican party that is actually thought through this aspect of the new agenda and integrated it thoughtfully into the program, would have more chance of jumping racial lines and more stereotypical mitt romney republicanism, wood. i say there are african-american latina overwhelmingly males, middle-class working class behind this. his program iteration more appealing but you have to work at it. and very trump doesn't need is the opposite. host: these kind of data elements are the incidental to nationalism or is it a coincidence that they merge with trump. of the emerge when nationalism is out in the open and a lot of places a lot of times.
rich: i say there are incidental or should be incidental, "the issue is" they are caught up with populism which is the different phenomenon and to with trump news persona and personality which is the very different phenomena but the and nationalism in our edge due to did to be mixed in together because the elite institutions tend to be who hostile to nationalism and cortical respectable parties, tend to be not want have anything to do with it. who it leaves to populist outsiders to exploit but i don't say this is inherent to nationalism. alexander hamilton tapped into the american tradition was not a populace, he was opposed to populism. and he fights for your. and populist work better at small details of this than he was. henry clay, lincoln, also
examples of this tradition. also they were anti- populace. only trump, if you aren't making 19th century analogies, he is more in line with more than andrew jackson than with andrew abraham lincoln. host: talking about the first of the propositions there, he said the national feeling has deep roots. is nationalism, is it just a feeling. what actually is it. what kind of thing is nationalism. his innate sentiment, is it an ideal analogy, way of thinking about politics. rich: is the definitions where it is kind of this conversation that people tend to say while patriotism, that is a really good about national feeling nationalist is everything bad. if you going to be technical about it patriotism, same route as patriarchate father, loyalty to your own. nationalism is the idea that
existing people bounded by a common culture come common language and history should govern and is distinct territory. but these patriotism news nationalisms is caught up with one another. in this conversation they should be interchangeable. if your cells about your sovereignty and governing and distinct territory, you also are probably have a really strong sense of community or ideal community with everyone else that is in your people. who the patriotism and nationalism, sort of mixed together. we say. host: you say it is ultimately a sort of feeling about community. it's on a way of organizing politics or is it. the way of thinking of world affairs. the term nationalism especially those kind of debates we had in the right and left, have served only, it is been a concept in foreign policy thinking.
which is largely the brawl it plays you wrote. it's been a way of thinking about domestic affairs, nationalism as opposed to localism see which i say it's not quite what you are staying, it is also sometimes equated with patriotism. and then you see and how can you not be for your nationalism then. rich: there's a certain lowest common denominator nationalism. that means you are focused on putting your people news interest first. we focused on preserving your sovereignty and pursuing your national interests in foreign policy. in the doesn't give you policy answered to anything. and that is a mistake i say to see that mama nationalist therefore oppose the artwork, and the national who therefore i support the iraq war. it doesn't give you an answered to what policies it best serves. but there are schools of thoug thought, cosmopolitanism, and libertarians who say there are something small minded or to constricted and see that we are going to be focused on the
people news interests above all other peoples we are going to be focused on sovereignty and are national interests. who any percent of americans, you shake them awake at 3:00 a.m. and you put this proposition to them should we be in favor of our own interest. in most people would see yes but there is that 20 percent or whatever it is, who has a philosophical commitment that is at odds with nationalism. britney sanders is an example. talk with us in the book. they mean really did with fox, in 2016, where the editor says standards, you are in favor of helping poor people, is it true that the best way to help poor people around the world is to just let them all come into the united states which is actually in a truthful proposition for your there is no doubt that would be better for your all of the immigrants coming in but no no, that is a koch brother proposal. we can't do that. our people and our workers that matter more to us.
since kind of beaten out of him. but that was a basic nationalistic sentiment. host: striking about this book is the way you try to route the case for your nationalism in the american story. to the american history and its various phases. in up on the most striking flames there, is that american nationalism precedes the american independence that we exist as a nation before we were a single political community and the fact that it is rooted in english nationalism, the, doesn't that nationalism can be rooted in another nationalism and what is it see about the characters if that's the case. rich: what i argue is that in the english civil war going way back, that was about whether the english nation had in existence over and above and outside the market. the stores had this idea a very traditional idea that england
was sort of their patrimony. it sort of belong to them. ella parliament said was no. it belongs to the people. they have their own rights and flames. save great contention in england over this and you have the civil war which topples a monarchy previously in this restoration and initially eat the glorious revolution. and that style was a really muddy compromise that works. and everyone gets around it. but it does limit the power of the crown and what you have to simplify terribly, is the people who are most percent for your a full fleet and on the side of parliament in that contention, come here and bring all of those cultural assumptions and predicates to our shores. the kind of folk memories and tropes in this kind of a version of english product is is him and
that i say would give you a version of the american revolution even that went out the enlightenment. it is the key part of it. but as i see, before edward john locke, he had people of massachusetts see no, we govern ourselves. and i can't give you a date but somewhere between the early 17th century in 1776, we do have an american nation is governing itself and has its own institutions and stone ways of thinking. they are separated by a vast section of england for your about a hundred years. i don't say you get the evolution that was the case the revolution was about syndicating of the rights of that nation. host: 20 recess recess than the notion that america is an idea that is defined by the way of thinking by itself about political life. more than it is defined by a place or language rs necessity,
or other things that holds other nations together, you are describing people unified by certain ways of thinking. rich: i say that's a good. i don't want to give you a misimpression that staying ideals or how you say has brought important. i would just make the case that how you say is caught up in your culture. and culture is seated with ideas. who it's in the book is if we were in the united states, and it has been settled by russians, and you give them all kind of a he of the second treaties, and you mandated that they all read it like every single night, it still wouldn't have gotten anything close to the american founding. says one point in the second, is that in ideals in my view, have independent on the success of this distinct mounted political entity which is the american nation and is independent on its
extent and its power measured by opening remarks about washington hamilton and others that if we just fell apart and disgrace, then after soon after 1776, everyone will die in the ideas will die with it. they're discredited. and we wouldn't have been able to vindicate our ideals and influence the world with them. in the same way that we did in the 20th century which involved wanting to a war that we hadn't been a continental nation. who the ideals the way of thinking, are important, they're just not the entirety of the story and i say republicans and even conservatives have gone way over is it too far to emphasizing the ideals. host: are we encourage or should we be discouraged by the subject of your last book in doing this by abraham lincoln. did lincoln say america it was an idea or is he, i say he suggesting in some ways, that he is the embodiment of this other way of thinking about what american is or nationalism.
be one health. i don't say they are contradictory. people of a misperception that nationalism is some idea that they can't involve idealism which is completely false all nationalism have some ideal content. when jen was vindicating the idea was the french had the most christian king. and after the revolution, that they have these ideals. the english imagine themselves leading the world in liberty and ancient israel, which i say is the proto- nation and a very complicated subject again that is simplify. greatly in my book but the idea is that they are a live into the nation. who the best nationalism and by the with the universal, i say lincoln did that in a particularly inspired way. but at the end of the day, the
most important mission was saving the nation. now in part because he thought there was a logic to liberty to the american nationstate, and if you see this and the flavor still existed in the south and to some extent would still be overrun by this logic. he loved henry clay and the whole ideal, and is lincoln said, clay loves america. one because it was three and two because that was his country. and both of those are important and there is a note that i mentioned in my opening the modesty to lincoln statements about america but one, a historian who archly observed never once is there any suggestion on the part of lincoln that we've god would actually continent a divided united states of america. host: lincoln said in the eulogy of henry clay the claim .-ellipsis country because it was his country but mostly because it was a free country.
did lincoln let america because it mostly was a free country. rich: he loved mostly, there is a huge element. that has provided the opportunity to rise. but the freedom wasn't to be defended or preserved obviously if the country are the nationstate, was torn apart. who i refer again to the argument that the two are in ably connected. and the opportunity, or furthering the opportunity for your people to rise, in his view was also connected to a nationalistic and economic political program. in uniting the country with railroads and with analysis and creating a national market when there are only the local markets. host: in 2009 or in 2010 president obama got into a lot
of trouble the right for your staying that americans are patriots and have american patriotism, and the greeks have great patriotism in the belgium have belgium patriotism and that was made and that was treated as a failure to understand what really matter to american. ", maybe you would defend obama more than most of the right in staying that. and that a nationalist actually appreciates the nationalisms of other nations. the one i say conservatives is it too hard on bump up that. the grace to love their country. if i were great, i would love my country. but i'm an american, who i say it's also objectively true, with the best of all nations. that doesn't mean they can't have their patriotism and we shouldn't honor it. we haven't talked much about foreign policies. but this is obviously like a key element the consensus of american policy and again the 20th century was the thing for
your free independent and hopefully over time, small democratic nations see. and one reason i say we've enjoyed to knock and would, a relative. of the last 50 years and internationally, is the success of establishing that norm. which has cut against wars of territorial of a great advisement and created a more sense of borders and legitimate see around the nationstate. just one less.in this, if people tend say, are nationstate of this war and there is no forum of human organization does not deeply fought because we are fallen people. second subnational pride, and tribes are not peaceful, tribal wars are not anything to be taken lightly. there often extermination free to go higher, to the empires, empires fought wars.
rome only close the gates of the temple or whatever that indicated this for your several years and is the history and the problem with empires is that someone has to rule. someone with a dominant language has to rule. in a dominant culture has brawl. . . . . >> basic natural part of human nature. this thinking in american politics leave the question of federalism or localism,
nationalism including some that you describe in the book teddy roosevelt's progressive nationalism sometimes understood itself as opposed not so much to globalism but localism, is nationalism opposed to localism, a way of saying we need one american way of doing everything we do? >> now. not rightly understood. teddy roosevelt's presidency is fine, the progressive phase "after words" you get this over weaning nationalism, never a good sign. proper nationalism. and dual sovereignty allows anonymous amount of leeway to
states and localities and state and local cultures within limits is part of the american way. i wouldn't want entire regions to speak another language that would tear at our national cohesion and represent something that has to be avoided at all costs. >> a nation held together by this kind of national feeling deal with the darker side of its own history? one way nationalism is controversial as a political idea is it strike some people as ignoring overlooking america's national sins, treatment of native americans, nationalist expansion, the race question and slavery question which are not just historical questions but contemporary questions. what does nationalism offer in terms of thinking of those challenges? >> a truthful history.
and telling lies about ourselves. and it is profoundly true described in either, this little girl, a teacher who had a well-meaning project where she wanted to.out on the globe what country they are from, she and her african-american friends were so american they had no idea where to point, nowhere for them to point. if you take the average african-american family aside from families integrated recently 20 or 30 years they have a lineage in this country
going way back much further than the average european americans, much further than neo-nazi marchers in charlottesville. african-americans were part of the cultural nation from the beginning. and important contributions to it. that has to be acknowledged. conservatives should because it doesn't of this, focused on this in a way that we haven't. in the sweep of american history it was nationalists who vindicated the rights of african-americans, bogus sense of states rights with southern nationalism that were advanced as a way to continue child slavery and subsequent repress of jim crow in the south. we shouldn't lie to ourselves but that is the other side of the coin.
it says the american revolution was about slavery. it just was not. it skips over the fact after 1776 you had the great loosening in the north, northern states, all of them embracing gradual abolition. backsliding in the 19th century which is another story. it is very unusual to have people who want to lie about themselves. usually you lie about the other guy. the french -- not they have many -- the germans lie about the french but something new and unusual to lie about yourself and tear down your own legitimacy. cosmopolitan attitudes have seeped into the american elite after a d nationalizing elite witches and unprecedented thing. >> how do you explain it?
>> created greater trends nationalism. cosmopolitanism used to be the attitude of the outsiders in society, agitators, diogenes, the first recorded human history to say i am a citizen of the world, lived in a pot outside in the athens marketplace, respectable people of the time were shocked. that attitude in the beginning of the 60s in 70s seeped into the elite and focus on identity politics which underlines subnational loyalties. put them all together and you have our nation and its coherence under threat in a way it hasn't been before. >> nationalism contributes to a different kind of identity politics, another way of
approaching our political life through the lens of identity rather than idea? >> i don't think nationalism identity politics, the opposite of identity politics, the opposite of tribalism. someone having national loyalty, it is not. if you look at places around the world, and and by colonial rulers and it hasn't been unifying or wonderful. it has been the worst. you have no mutual sense of obligation and duty and real tribalism which tears people,
countries apart and makes it impossible to have the trust that lubricates democracy. >> host: let's open up to questions, folks in the room think they are interested in. all i ask is you tell us who you are and please formulate your question is a question for rich lowry and as a question about his book. we have a couple microphones going around to make sure we can all hear you so when we start right there. >> hello. my name is michael. i have an intern here. my soul question is do you think nationalism helps or harms people who want to move voluntarily from one place to another? if it helps them, why? it is also important to note -- >> to another country? >> between different nations. according to a 2008 in gallup poll 50% of the world population, 750 million people want to emigrate but can't. >> i don't think any country,
this is the experience in the reality of the world, to stop people from emigrating. it is only totalitarian countries like cuba or north korea that do this, but because nationalism is bound up in having a distinct people immigration policy and having borders is really implicated and my contention would be immigration policy should be good for citizens and people who were already here. that should be the primary concern and a big policy dispute about whether, what level that is true at. some people say it is a higher level than we are. it would be true at a lower level than we have now. a different mix into different emphasis of skills.
people cannot stay the same if they are overwhelmed by waves of immigration that are impossible to absorb and assimilate. the traditional nationalistic focus in this country, you see this particularly in tr, putting emphasis on assimilation. what reason, in the early 20th century, was successfully absorbed, and incredible machinery devoted to assimilation. every elite institution in american life on board with helping immigrants assimilate and pressure for the huge assimilating of it and then a paz in immigration beginning in 1924, a lot of people support it for bad reasons. to create pressure on ethnic
enclaves that have developed to marry outside their group. that is what you should want. you want americans to become all mixed up together and have mutual feeling as one, rather than enclaves. >> immigration policy serves national interests or the interests who are here. >> we are at a different place than we were in the early 20th century when we had a great -- the american manufacturing economy, you plug immigrants into. 40% of the guys in the factory line were immigrants, different economy now, more based on technology and information and puts more emphasis on skills. my basic take is many many
people want to come here for very good reasons which gives us the opportunity to be a little bit choosy. we should recognize the humanitarian elements, there should be a refugee program, some allowance for family reunification. that said, there should be much more emphasis on skills, on people who speak english which does not mean having people come from australia, not that australians want to immigrate to the united states but tens of millions of people speak english in places like india and nigeria. let's get immigrants to succeed here. and 3 generations hence, so many people want to come, we can decide to pick and choose and to me that seems common sense but for a lot of people
once you say that, interests should be deriving it you committed some sort of offense and small minded -- >> let's go to the back. >> winston wilkinson. the president and his rhetoric has hurt this type of discussion. in that mindset, how would you advance this idea, your idea of nationalism in an environment where people are offended by that word and what it means as relates to the president and what is going on in europe? >> very good question. making the case that nationalism is a bigger phenomenon than donald trump. it doesn't begin and end with donald trump and i want people who are trump supporters to read my book and say this is why nationalism is okay but i also want people who are skeptical opposed to trump to read the book and hopefully
come to the conclusion that this is an important thing and it should be integrated into any post trump conservatism or republican party, that this again is something that does not begin and end with donald trump. wave a magic wand, there are things, many things we wouldn't say or do but i am not equipped unfortunately. >> in the front. >> thanks for your remarks. do you believe the us government when making policy decisions about resources and other domains should place more value on american life than another country and why or why not? >> there has been a lazy thinking on the right about
trade. our trade arrangement with china is great, 100 million chinese people out of pocket which could benefit but the focus should be in the united states and if it crosses that benefit, 2 million americans into poverty and opioid addiction and other self-destructive behaviors it changes the equation for me. the focus should be on our own people and our own interests, not to the exclusion of every humanitarian issue. president bush in africa with his 8 initiative is an example of a worthy humanitarian initiative but cost us very little but the focus has to be on folks here at home.
>> my name is joe freeman. i took a look at your index. i thought i heard you say southern nationalism was res which sounds wrong to me having studied this intensively. i've come from several generations of southerners. i agree it was written in slavery, slavery shaped social, economic and political systems and away it didn't in the north and that is why it became a regional or national culture and its own right. we have all these confederate monuments as salutes to that nationalism. i could go on and on and on. i'm surprised to hear you say that. >> you heard me correctly. i don't think lincoln's first inaugural address any national geographic boundaries. i don't think there was a truly
separate national culture. there was a regional culture in a different language, there wasn't a different sounding. the basis of southern nationalism was explicitly defense of a hideous and unjust institution and the fear the south could be overwhelmed by a growing north but in terms of economic power and population and the national government as it grew stronger would impinge on the institution. i believe in the right of revolution, which was once the session was but had to be a just revolution and this was a revolution in a deeply unjust cause and as far as the monuments i don't think they should be sledgehammer in the middle of the night or spray-painted or any of that. it is up to localities to decide but confederate monuments, i prefer to see them
in museums or on battlefields, especially the ones that were erected at a certain point in time to send a message about the appeal and legitimacy of the so-called southern nation and the message to african-americans that it was going to get really bad for them. i am not a fan of those monuments. >> another question back here. >> thank you for talking. i am taking a class about edmund burke right now, reading burke, he loves great britain and loves being british but at the same time he supported letting the american colonies go. do you think that his nationalism is more what you are talking about in the sense that it is not militaristic? >> you put me on the spot
asking and edmund burke question when i'm on the same stage as yuval levin. i know little about edmund burke, maybe i will defer to him on this question. >> host: i will redirect the question. you gain the most stirring defense of nationalism ever, that suggests capacity for seeing as part of your own nationalism the appeal of other's nationalism and maybe also suggested, the question is getting asked, a sense that nationalism isn't connected to militarism wasn't about national expansion. is that fair? expansion is part of the american - >> excuse me. i think it is. nationalism can easily fade, aggressive and militaristic can fade into imperialism, but
there is a line there. it is often fuzzy. but i had had, inherited from my ancestral reading of "national review," sympathy for western colonialism is still that surely british colonialism which compared with a colonialisms was more benign and had a liberalizing tendency but i think it is entirely mistaken. farsighted and correct posture is to be willing to let people go their own way and be self-governing. fdr and churchill had a good argument about this, that churchill was positively victorian is the way she put it on the question of colonialism and clearly right. >> take another question up here.
>> you will answer no questions when you are moderating. >> pretty much but that was a very burkeian answer. >> thank you. i am a member of the reagan foundation. there are dangers to both ends. nationalism may lead to isolationism which may lead to imperialism because that is exactly what happened in japan. we need to watch out. my question is what are the differences? how do you distinguish? >> not sure i have a satisfying answer on this. excuse me. our foreign policy should be national interest-based and have a big argument about what that is. some people say it is more interventionist than other people. i tend to think the international institutions we
had such a big hand in developing in the post-world war ii environment profoundly served our national interests and on any reasonable cost benefit analysis are much more of a benefit to the united states at a cost but this gets to how nationalism in itself can settle a lot of important policy questions. saying i am a nationalist is not sufficient to tell you what's tax rates should be, what your entitlement policy should be and what your attitude towards nato should be. i've got nothing for you in other words. >> take the question back there. >> from the washington free beacon. you touched on relationships between tribalism and cosmopolitan and both thrive together in places at the same time in africa or the middle east where there is panera busy
demand corrosive tribalism at the national state and separatists want to leave the united kingdom but don't want to join the eu. is there a mutually reinforcing relationship between tribalism and cosmopolitanism, can they thrive together? >> i am not sure i see such a relationship. pan arab tendencies is a symptom of a lack of true nationalism in those countries but i don't see a relationship between tribalism and cosmopolitanism. >> one more question over here.
>> you spoke a moment ago about trade policy and preparing american interests over others. that could line with the argument about trade. if you accept that is nationalist trade policy, how do you think about traditional conservative sense of humility about what is best for american people in economic terms and intend it to better american interests the market being so complicated, maybe we shouldn't plan on that? >> i accept the premise -- i didn't mean to endorse industrial policy. if i did i am sorry. and unclear and i regret it but this goes, we should have a policy in the interests of our
workers and have an argument of industrial policy or not on that basis. i tend to agree with where you are coming from. i am skeptical about big government interventions which are based on, as you correctly point out a fine-grained understanding of what is best for every industry, and what you should be supported or not supporting in the history of those policies is not a happy one and you look at the 1970s, the history is a failure. >> isn't it true that capitalism is almost inherently cosmopolitan? is there a capitalism in one nation that would go along? >> capitalism does depend on
rules which are not generally self generating and trade policy is not, you have no rules with china and there will be free trade with china, not how it works. you have to write it down and i don't think you get democracy, i don't think you get markets, i don't think you get social trust without nationalism in the sense of creating these nation states which to me are the most natural political entities. capitalism is going to tend towards openness but for people to live in, to have a government that will write the rules or another government facilitating the trade.
there is no such thing as free-floating libertarian people in the either. everyone belongs to something and everyone lives somewhere and everyone has to be governed and there has to be pulled even for the market and trade to work. >> that is an acceptable answer. >> that's a great one. >> just a neutral observer. that is a good place to end the discussion of nationalism. let's thank rich lowry for the book and for being with us. rich will be outside, to bother him with more questions and thank you for being here.
tonight at 11:00 pm eastern on booktv, in his new book sam houston in the alamo adventures, brian kilmeade offers a history of america's war for texas. >> sam houston what to talk about courage, felt he was impervious, he should have died. when it was time to get a commission he goes to washington pretty close to hear according to the map. i'm able to see everything. going to the ground, what does he learn? this country is fragile and courage has to be calculated. >> "in depth" live with manhattan institute senior fellow and wall street journal columnist jason riley. >> the number of black elected officials in this country has grown from fewer than 1500 in 1970 to more than 10,000 today.
including a twice elected black president. that is the voting rights act. >> at 9:00 eastern on "after words" university of virginia history professor sarah myla explores the political history of tobacco in america in her book the cigarette. she is interviewed by david kessler. >> smoking at the turn of the 20th century in the early 1900s was considered something almost un-american. it was a vice of the foreign-born. the anti-smoking movement of the first two decades of the 20th century kind of grows away, nativism and thinking about behavior that is appropriate for nativeborn healthy americans. >> watch booktv every weekend on c-span2. >> our guests tonight is nicholas buccola, author of the political thought of frederick douglas and the editor of the essential douglas and abraham lincoln and liberal democracy.